Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Senior Research Director

Apply now Job no: 497818 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Bethesda, MD Capability Area: Economics, Justice & Society


Join the Economics, Justice, and Society Department at NORC as the newest Senior Research Director. Here you will have the opportunity to contribute to the continued success of the one of the nation's most respected research institutions, significantly impacting NORC’s success and service to our clients during a time of strategic growth.

NORC maintains offices in a number of metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Greater DC and Silicon Valley.  Regular office presence is not an expectation and NORC actively recruits nationwide for all levels of research staff.


The Economics, Justice and Society (EJS) Department focuses on a broad range of topics relating to critical economic, demographic, and social issues. We are home to many of NORC’s largest and longest-running surveys including the General Social Survey, the Survey of Consumer Finance, and the National Longitudinal Surveys; we engage in policy analysis and evaluation research relating to social programs and issues; we focus on the economy and the labor force, retirement plans;, transportation and traffic safety, crime and law enforcement, and energy and the environment. We work with a diverse set of clients and partners, including policy-makers and data users in federal, state and local governments, academia, and the press.

  • Direct moderately to very complex projects; components of very complex projects; and/or multiple smaller projects in their field of expertise
  • Supervise the design of data collection methodologies and procedures, questionnaires, and data collection forms to implement the study as specified by the client
  • Function in a leadership role with responsibility for all activities on project assignments, management of data, operational procedures required to deliver contracted deliverables. Must be adept at client interaction. Includes administrative supervisory responsibilities
  • Ensure effective project staffing for the range of projects supervised. Develop all training strategies and materials relative to project needs
  • Will have significant budget responsibility on components of large research projects, including monitor project budget and schedule. Manage subcontracts. Overseeing budget development.
  • Interact with clients frequently to clarify their needs, report on progress, discuss contractual matters, resolve problems, allay concerns, and provide information and recommendations
  • Guide programs and policymakers in using evidence to make decisions
  • Ensure and manage staff development, providing mentorship, particularly in special areas of expertise (either substantive or methodological), management advice, performance evaluations, and other feedback on performance
  • Will have significant budget responsibility on components of large research projects, including monitoring project budgets and schedules. Manage subcontracts. Oversee budget development
  • Engage in significant business development responsibilities, including idea generation, outreach, and authoring various sections of technical proposals -  generally including those most methodologically or conceptually challenging and/or those most substantive/technical in nature. Manage a full proposal effort typically of medium to larger scale. 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in social sciences, or other relevant discipline is required, MA or PhD is preferred
  • At least 8 years experience in positions of increasing responsibility in social research, public policy or related field. Experience must include extensive project management responsibilities.
  • Strong problem solving, project management, relationship management skills
  • Ability to manage time to work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Must have experience hiring, managing and mentoring staff
  • Outstanding interpersonal and critical reasoning skills
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including an ability to translate complex research methods and findings for a practitioner and policy audience
  • Experience in client communications, financial management and relationship management
  • Strong proficiency with MS Office software; proficiency with statistical, financial and resource management/analysis packages. Working knowledge of computing platforms, data processing procedures, and data file construction.

NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, our teams have conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


For over 75 years, NORC has evolved in many ways, moving the needle with research methods, technical applications and groundbreaking research findings. But our tradition of excellence, passion for innovation, and commitment to collegiality have remained constant components of who we are as a brand, and who each of us is as a member of the NORC team. With world-class benefits, a business casual environment, and an emphasis on continuous learning, NORC is a place where people join for the stellar research and analysis work for which we’re known, and stay for the relationships they form with their colleagues who take pride in the impact their work is making on a global scale.


NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.


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